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SPICE

BUSINESS | INVESTMENT | FOOD | TRAVEL | CULTURE | DESIGN | VISION


August 2015

Going global

Why world airline chiefs


are flying to KZN

Get inspired

Meet the pump jockey


turned business mogul

ENCORE!

How two fabulous fellows are helping


the arts flourish in KZN

SIBAYA

August 2015 EDS LETTER

co-ordinatES
29 41 11.72S
31 05 58.61E

SIBAYA

uccess is the progressive realisation of a


worthy goal or ideal. Thats a line from
the late US motivational speaker Earl
Nightingale, and it played in my head the other
day while attending an investment conference
where some great KwaZulu-Natal businesses
showcased their wares.
They drove home the happy endeavour that is
SPICE.
In this magazine we get to display the work of
a host of successful people in the province, across
a variety of disciplines, from business to sport and
the arts.
Hopefully it is a tonic amid the doom and
gloom.
This is the sixth edition of SPICE and it has
been enormously gratifying to meet so many of
the individuals weve featured.
Theyre representative of where KZN can
pitch itself. They are talented, hardworking
people who thrive in spite of the odds, and theirs
is a combination of chutzpah and tenacity, or
sometimes simply sticking to a worthy goal.
I urge you to read the incredible article in this

uninterrupted

180

Sea viewS

issue about Sbonelo Mbatha, the petrol attendant


turned business mogul.
And the piece about Gregory de Beyer, who
won the first Shark Tank competition hosted by
SPICE and FNB.
The Sunday Times is immensely proud to be a
part of the Shark Tank initiative. Weve partnered
with awesome business people to make it a reality
and to help encourage entrepreneurs, because
without being too lofty in an era of grim politics,
thats where our salvation lies.
If you know an entrepreneur in KZN who
is going places, please encourage them to enter
Shark Tank 2 (details in the advert below).
Next month Durban hosts the World Routes
Development Forum, an influential gathering
of global airline chiefs. Maybe it will result in
more carriers landing in KZN. The event is an
opportunity to exhibit the best we have to oer.
Hopefully it supplements the hard work already
being done to market the province.
GREG ARD

ardeg@sundaytimes.co.za

UNIQUE LIFESTYLE...
SERENE LOCATION...
DISTINCT LUXURY...

Sibaya iS an exquiSite
reSidential development
opportunity neStling in
the affluent landScape
of KwaZulu-natalS north
coaSt between umhlanga
and emdloti... the
inveStment opportunity
of a lifetime.

CALLING ALL KZN ENTREPRENEURS.

UNIQUE LIFESTYLE
Sibayas co-existence with the natural landscape and generous open spaces
creates an exceptional live-work-play lifestyle fusion, ideal for the most
astute purchaser pursuing a laid-back, tranquil, private and secure life with
more than a tinge of green on the urban fringe, all based on the ethos of
environmentally conscious development principles.
SERENE LOCATION
Sibaya lies at the heart of durbans northern urban development
corridor, one of the most sought-after real estate investment
destinations in South africa, and sets new standards for opulent,
spacious and modern living.

EmDLOTI

SiBaYa
UmhLANgA

DISTINCT LUXURY
Sibaya captures the very essence of what luxury living is all about
with an idyllic feel. this is one of the finest locations in the
country, a luxurious place on the coast where residents are able
to truly live the dream... a residential haven in which aspiration
is justly rewarded.

IF SO, LET US KNOW.

LA LUCIA

YOU COULD

The Sunday Times, in conjunction with FNB, is


fostering entrepreneurship in KZN. If you are a
winning entrepreneur well give you a leg up.

Sibaya, quite simply, provides the platform for the last


word in elegant, stylish and sophisticated living. this is a
development which promises superior levels of privacy
and the peace-of-mind of unobtrusive security.

DURBAN

To take advantage of this unique property investment opportunity and for detailed site information, please contact:
Sithembiso mthembu
Cell: +27 (0) 60 560 2804
Email: Sithembiso.Mthembu@tongaat.com
Tel: +27 (0) 31 560 1925

DO YOU HAVE A KILLER IDEA FOR A BUSINESS


VENTURE, OR IS YOUR COMPANY ON THE BRINK
OF GREAT THINGS?

BALLITO

Trenley Tilbrook
Cell: +27 (0) 82 496 2169
Email: Trenley.Tilbrook@tongaat.com
Tel: +27 (0) 31 560 1928

ENTER OUR SUNDAY TIMES FNB


SHARK TANK COMPETITION.

You stand a chance to make a pitch in front of a panel of


KZNs most influential and successful business people.
Were calling it an engagement in the Sunday Times

FNB Shark Tank and our fearsome sharks will


interrogate your big idea (and your business plan)
and use all their fearsome power to help put you
on track to succeed.
Its simple to participate: all you have to do is go
online and fill in a form, present a business plan
and be available on November 9, 2015 to make
your pitch if you are selected. Entries close at the
end of September, so dont miss out.

To enter go to: www.sundaytimes.co.za/sharktank

WIN

R150 000
WORTH OF MEDIA EXPOSURE AND
BANK ASSISTANCE, PLUS STAND THE
CHANCE TO BE COACHED BY THE BEST
BUSINESS MINDS IN KZN.

Finalists will be notified by October 20th, 2015

CONTENTS August 2015

features
Bling it on: jewellery to make you a shiny,
happy person
Riverhorse Valley is a winner for tenants, owners
and the government
ICC: Durbans belle of the ball

6
8
9

Nina Freysen-Pretorius walks the talk in the


conference business

10

Alan Gooderson on whats needed to make


tourism boom

11

MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu looks forward to next


KZN by numbers: our provinces vital statistics

12
13

Sbonelo Mbathas amazing rags-to-riches


journey

14

Gregory de Beyer is the ad industrys inspirational


Mr Fix-It

18

Why FNBs Preggie Pillay is bullish about the


KZN economy

19

months World Routes Development Forum

culture
COVER STORY

6
20

Mountain biker Candice Neethling is pedalling


towards a second OIympic Games

24

Why Hartford House is a breed apart when it


comes to luxury hotels

26

The Discovery Sport is helping Land Rover conquer


new frontiers

27

Ela Gandhi shares her hopes, dreams and wisdom

SPICE
EDITORIAL
EDITOR
Greg Ard
ardeg@sundaytimes.co.za
031-250-8500, 082-822-0001
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Megan Guyt
CHIEF SUB EDITOR
Dave Chambers
SUB EDITOR
Nerissa Card
DESIGNER
Thembekile Vokwana
CONTRIBUTORS
Yasantha Naidoo
naidooy@sundaytimes.co.za

24

Meet KickstArt Theatre Companys Steven Stead


and Greg King

The honour that finally left broadcaster Alan Khan


speechless

12

28
30

Shelley Seid
seids@sundaytimes.co.za

vision
ambition
courage

dedication
creativity

resilience
curiosity

Beth Stols
bstols@mweb.co.za
Masood Boomgaard
masoodboomgaard@gmail.com
Nompumelelo Magwaza
magwazan@sundaytimestimes.co.za
EDITOR-AT-LARGE
Philani Mgwaba

ADVERTISING
BUSINESS MANAGER
Verna Pillay
pillayv@sundaytimes.co.za
031-250-8500, 082-452-6277
PUBLISHER
Andrew Gill

It takes certain qualities to be an entrepreneur. One of them is dedication: loyalty to your cause

Printed by Paarl Media

one of the many that keeps the economy of KZN flourishing.

Published by Times Media (Pty) Ltd,


4 Biermann Avenue, Rosebank,
Johannesburg.

coupled with the will to fight for it, regardless of obstacles. Its what keeps you devoted to your business,

As a proud sponsor of the Sunday Times FNB Shark Tank, FNB Business supports the committed
entrepreneurs of KZN. Well continue to bring you the worlds most innovative banking solutions,

Copyright: Times Media (Pty) Ltd.


No portion of this magazine may be
reproduced in any form without
written consent of the publishers.
The publishers are not responsible
for unsolicited material. SPICE is
published by Times Media (Pty) Ltd.
The opinions expressed are not
necessarily those of Times Media (Pty)
Ltd. All advertisements, advertorials
and promotions have been paid for
and therefore do not carry any
endorsement by the publishers.

and South Africas best mobile banking*, to help you grow and run your business, in the face of any
adversity. Because your success is not just important for you, its also making a vital contribution
to the economy of KZN, and to South Africa.

Get more bank. Do more business.


For more information on our business banking solutions,
contact Andrew Hudson on 083 627 8767 or email hudsona@fnb.co.za.
*As voted by the SAcsi Survey 2015
First National Bank - a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. An Authorised Financial Services and Credit Provider (NCRCP20).

04

| SPICE |

August 2015

SPEnDIng IT

blIng IT on
There are many ways to make
your eyes twinkle. Youll find some here.
TEXT SIPHILISELWE MAKHANYA

BroWnS THe diaMond STore


guardian angel necklace and earring
set: Price on request
Tanzanite and diamonds set in 18ct white gold
Visit brownsjewellers.com

WaTCHeS UnliMiTed
longines equestrian
Collection watch:
r45 000

Colori range
BY Mark gold
Personality dress rings:
r52 000 to r83 000

Stainless steel case. Calfskin


leather band. Mother-of-pearl
dial. Set with 68 diamonds.
Contact the La Lucia Mall
branch on 031-572-4196

Inspired by the 1960s and vintage


glamour. The range features
colourful pairings of gemstones
set in gold and including quality,
rare green tsavorite
Contact Dean 031-303-4417
or dean@markgold.net
Vernon WHiTe

ViJaY SHaH JeWellerS


Custom, made-to-order:
Price on request
Award-winning, individually
designed and crafted pieces
such as the three-in-one
bracelet, anklet and neckpiece
in yellow and white gold, and
diamonds
Contact Vijay 031-564-2948 or
vijayshah@telkomsa.netz

18ct white gold pendant set with a pear-shaped


citrine gemstone and diamonds on an 18ct white gold
graduated tennis necklace with diamonds
Contact Laura 031-303-8278 or Gateway Theatre of Shopping
Umhlanga Rocks

daVid BaTCHelor
Hand-crafted flower ring:
r80 940

18ct yellow and white gold encrusted with


88 sparkling cut diamonds
By appointment only. Contact Lauren
031-205-8088 or dbdesign@mweb.co.za

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| SPICE |

August 2015

Pendant: r102 195;


Tennis necklace: r125 470

DEVELOPMENT

RIVER OF LIFE
The construction of Riverhorse Valley has had a transforming effect on
provincial and municipal coffers, and created a workplace for 17 000 people
TEXT GREG ARD

he words public private partnership are


trotted out a lot. PPP flips easily off the
tongue, but there arent too many working
examples worth crowing about. One that is
flourishing is on a prime chunk of land reclaimed
from swamp, latterly named Riverhorse Valley to
recognise the areas historical hippo inhabitants.
It is a collaboration between Tongaat Hulett
and eThekwini Municipality, and appears to have
cost slightly more than the presidential palace in
Nkandla, but with a massive economic benefit to
the city.
Riverhorse has unlocked 323 hectares for
modern, blue-chip business premises surrounded
by open spaces and an indigenous river catchment
area. In total, more than 180 companies, including
global firms, have flocked there, especially logistics
and warehousing concerns.
The result has seen a private-sector investment
of R3.2-billion and growth in the city rates base of
about R83-million a year.
Fifteen years ago there was a serendipitous
coincidence of events. Nearby Springfield Park
was saturated and then-Tongaat Hulett subsidiary
Corobrik had to dismantle its old Effingham
Brickworks plant and make its quarry safe.
Nearby land was surrounded by sugarcane
and dissected by the N2, recalls Tongaat Hulett
Developments executive Brian Ive.

That was around 1999, and after city approvals


were put in place and hundreds of tons of bulk
earthworks done, platforms of land started selling
at R240/m, peaking at R3 000/m.
Since 2002 the city has spent R300-million
upgrading the Queen Nandi interchange and firms
have ploughed R3.2-billion into buildings, creating
70 000 construction jobs.
An independent survey commissioned by the
city showed that taxes on new buildings have raised
R500-million for government coffers. The study
says the partnership (the city is a 60% shareholder)
spent R215-million to establish Riverhorse Valley,
in addition to the money spent on the Queen
Nandi interchange, providing access to the N2.
A critical feature of the PPP is the Riverhorse
Valley Business Estate Management Association,
which raises R600 000 a month from levies. The
money funds top-up services such as landscaping,
street cleaning and recycling, public open space
maintenance, CCTV and 24-hour security
operations.
This spend translates into a saving for the
city, as functions such as landscaping and street
cleaning for the entire area are taken off its hands.
Estate manager Bruce Macaulay says
association members in Riverhorse are generally
happy to pay the levies for the prestige and
convenience of the address, safe in the knowledge

that the money spent to create a viable node


protects their property values and investments.
They want good roads, adequate lighting,
clean and tidy public spaces and decisive action
to deal with errant behaviour from the public and
members alike. All these elements have added
enormous value to the properties here, says
Macaulay. Firms based there, he adds, also thrive
on easy access to the city and the freeway.
Ive says joint management of the precinct has
been made easier by the fact that Riverhorse
Valley was well designed in the first place.
Almost no expense was spared in the beginning,
so the roads are wide, for example, and businesses
prosper in an environment like that.
The city study said a total of 17 000 people work
in Riverhorse, 32% of them from the surrounding
areas of Durban North, KwaMashu, Newlands
and Reservoir Hills.
Riverhorse Valley Business Estate, over a
short period of time, has established itself as
integral to the economic fabric of eThekwini
the estate, although not able to facilitate as
much new company formation as was hoped or
anticipated during planning, has succeeded in
providing a number of major companies with an
alternative location to consolidate and expand
their eThekwini operations.
Paul Izzard, a director at Index Property
Solutions, said Riverhorse was popular because it
was well managed and easily accessible. It has a
good aesthetic and modern appeal. Index has done
three deals in Riverhorse recently, including a
1 500m call centre, a 2 000m office and
warehouse complex, and a 2 500m new warehouse
development.

ICC IN NUMBERS

A HAPPY
MEETING
PLACE

TEXT GREG ARD

he elegant architectural masterpiece has


come of age, transformed from a bratty
teenager that drew on city resources
into a beautiful belle which has consistently
captured the eye of the world and now turns
a profit.
In 1992, two years before democracy
dawned in South Africa, a progressive group of
city councillors, business people and members
of Operation Jumpstart hatched a plan to
build the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International
Convention Centre. It was a leap of faith that
has paid o handsomely.

HERE ARE SOME INCREDIBLE FACTS


ABOUT THE DURBAN ICC

The ICC is the largest column-free,


at-oor conference venue in Africa
*
*
*

In 18 years the ICC has hosted more than 7 800


conferences and brought 6.5 million delegates to
Durban.
The ICC has created 57 000 mentions of Durban
on Google.
The ICC employs 155 full-time sta and has a pool
of 400 waitrons for big events.

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August 2015

WITH ALL ITS


INTERNAL
DOORS OPEN,
YOU COULD
PARK 14 BOEING 747S SIDE
BY SIDE IN THE ICC

The ICC kitchen can serve


4 000 hot meals to any area of the
venue WITHIN 11 MINUTES,
using a system of tunnels and
lifts to dispatch dishes (covered
with heated blankets) to
16 SATELLITE KITCHENS.
For the past FOUR YEARS the
ICC has generated a cumulative
profit of R116-MILLION;
R24-MILLION in 2014 alone.
In the past EIGHT YEARS the
ICC has created 60 000 jobs and
contributed R20-BILLION to
SAS GDP.

THE DURBAN ICC WAS BUILT AT A COST OF


AND
HAS
It can host gatherings of up to
HAD SUBSEQUENT EXTENSIONS AND
RENOVATIONS
WORTH

R286-MILLION
R460-MILLION 20 000 PEOPLE

THE ICC OCCUPIES A CITY BLOCK


THAT IS 1.2km LONG. THE BUILDING
ITSELF IS 1km LONG, WITH 70 000m
AND 1 400 PARKING BAYS

1994

14

BOEING 747s

Durbans International Convention Centre


turned 18 this year.

CONSTRUCTION BEGAN IN
1994 AND IT WAS OPENED IN
1997 BY NELSON MANDELA

The ICC has played host to some of the most famous


people in the world, including Yasser Arafat, Fidel
Castro, Queen Elizabeth, Kofi Annan, Michael Bubl
and Bryan Adams

IT HAS CREATED
BED NIGHTS IN KZN FOR DELEGATES
STAYING BEYOND THE DURATION OF THEIR
CONFERENCES

In the last
year the ICC
customer
satisfaction
rating
improved from

90%
to 98.4%
August 2015

| SPICE |

09

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW

BE MY GUEST
Few people know more about local tourism than Alan Gooderson,
and he has strong views about what needs to happen in the sector
TEXT GREG ARD PHOTOGRAPHY ROGAN WARD

WALKING
THE TALK
Nina Freysen-Pretorius bestrides the
conference world like a colossus
TEXT SHELLEY SEID PHOTOGRAPHY VAL ADAMSON

he International Congress and Convention


Association is the leader in the meetings
sector, with 1 000 member organisations
in more than 90 countries, and its president is
Durban tourism entrepreneur Nina FreysenPretorius.
She is the associations first African president
and is also CEO of The Conference Company,
which arranges conferences through its oces in
Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Freysen-Pretorius started her business in
1997, getting into conferencing because I like to
organise and talk on the phone because Im a
girl. She began her career working for an agency
that focused on corporate clients, and when it
dissolved she branched out on her own.
Her business turned the corner when she
bought a couple of contracts from other conference
organisers. One of these was the International
Confederation of Principles, with more than 2 000
delegates. It went well. We grew from there.
Her company networks throughout South
Africa, as well as into sub-Saharan Africa, often
bidding at risk. This means we work for free, she
says, and if the bid is won, we are then appointed.
It can mean working for a year or two without
being paid, until sponsorship is hopefully
secured.
Its a risky business model in a cutthroat
industry, and there is no denying FreysenPretoriuss steely resolve. Its a challenge being
a woman at the top in this industry. Often people
dont realise that this work is about content as well
as technical ability. And often they equate blonde

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| SPICE |

August 2015

with dof. You need to take the emotion out of it.


I manage it; I remain professional. If you allow
things to get to you, you wont be able to deliver.
She was project manager for the COP17 climate
change conference in 2011, and in the same year
organised the International Confederation of
Midwives. Her market is academic, research
driven, scientific or medical.
Its not glamorous and it is very content
driven, she says. If your content is wishy-washy,
not focused or not timeous you are dead in the
water. Content counts.
Her team often work years in advance.
Currently they are bidding for 2020s
International Zoology Conference. There are
myriad components to a conference destination,
venue, marketing, targeting and next month
they are challenging themselves by running four
international conferences concurrently.
We often need to pull rabbits out of hats, says
Freysen-Pretorius. We were appointed to organise
a World Health Organisation conference and just
before the event took place we were told that the
Cuban Minister of Health would be attending. Of
course, he couldnt stay in an American hotel we
had to find a secure place and organise security at
the last minute.
Last year Freysen-Pretorius received the mayor
of eThekwinis excellence award for the promotion
of tourism. I like what I do. I love the planning,
putting it together its like a jigsaw, and I love
making all the bits fit. Its great to be able to show
the world that Africa is capable of competently
hosting international, high-powered conferences.

NINA FREYSEN-PRETORIUS
FAVOURITE SPOTS
TO RELAX
I love spending time with my husband and
boys on the beach
TO EAT
Eora in Umhlanga for good old-fashioned,
yummy food; Old Town in Umhlanga
TO SHOP
Toni and Dee, Kirsten Goss
TO BE ROMANTIC
A glass of wine at home after a long day
FOR FAMILY OUTINGS
San Lameer on the South Coast
TO SHOW VISITORS
Hluluwe and St Lucia for the wildlife

lan Gooderson is an old campaigner


with a keen eye for a new idea. Hes
also a straight-talking fellow who is the
majority shareholder of Gooderson Leisure, a
hospitality group based in Durban and listed
on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Altx.
It runs 10 hotels and lodges, and four
timeshare resorts, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal,
employs 900 people and has property worth
more than R220-million.
Goodersons dad came to Durban from
the UK in the 1950s to run dairies. He sent
a telegram home saying, this is paradise,
and his family soon joined him. By 1957 the
Goodersons owned the old Lonsdale Hotel
and Alan, the middle son of three, was a
kitchen supervisor.
He had grand ideas for entertainment as
Durban had little to oer at the time. Other
than listening to Harry Shakespeare, the
Playhouse organist, there wasnt much to do.
It was boring. I started the Cockney
Pride Pub, then the Crazy Horse Cabaret
Venue, as well as Ruby Tuesday and The
Cats Whiskers, says Gooderson.
I didnt invent the idea for any of them,
I just saw what worked overseas and altered
them for the South African environment, and
they were very successful.
Before long Durban also boasted other hot
spots like Raes and Fathers Moustache that
were packed until the wee hours.
Gooderson said he made a mint
entertaining Vaalies and then-Rhodesians
in race-segregated South Africa. His clientele
wanted food and booze, and, cosseted by
apartheid, could aord three-week holidays.
Much has changed and Gooderson has
adapted to a new market, still from up country
but now from a growing black middle class.
Bars became conference centres and times
became leaner because of strict drinking and
driving regulations, but Gooderson tailored
his product accordingly.
We have the best weather God created.
I would open more of the promenade to
pedestrians, with open cafes.
Id also encourage the people making
decisions about tourism to line up with what
business wants, instead of telling us we can
and cant do this or that.

Government should talk to us and we


should all listen carefully to whats working.
KZNs appeal is as a family destination for
the domestic market. After that it is the
international market, then the government
and business markets.
Goodersons 58 years in the industry have
seen him sit on numerous boards and tourism
bodies. He doesnt believe the tourism
business should be too complicated. Its
common sense. You give the customer what
they want, which is good value and good fun.
For Gooderson, who runs hotels from
Durban to the Drakensberg, and game
lodges and spas in northern KZN, it is about
continually adding new attractions. Be it
a water park, a bicycle track or a wellness
centre, hes always trying to improve.
I keep a notepad at the side of my bed
and Im forever scribbling. When we travel
overseas, which is quite a lot, Im making
notes.
Gooderson reads all the guest response
forms from his hotels and resorts, amounting
to about 600 a month. I inspect every
property every six months and I read every
single guest form. I like to know what my
customers want and I never stop learning.
He says Durban needs something iconic,
one single thing that is an identifiable symbol,
much like Rios Christ the Redeemer statue
on Mount Corcovado or the Eiel Tower
in Paris. He believes that will help market
Durban and KZN phenomenally.
Theyve been speaking about building
a huge statue of King Shaka for a while
now, which would be great, as long as it has
viewing decks and tells KZNs history.
Hes scathing of SA Tourism, saying the
body barely markets KZN, concentrating
instead on Cape Town and Kruger Park.
They dont know where KZN is. What
about our Zulu culture, Indian markets and
beautiful beaches?
If he could wave a magic wand hed ensure
Durbans promenade had scores of pavement
cafes where patrons could eat fairly priced
seafood.
Its crazy. Were a port city and seafood
isnt abundant or even always available.
When it is, its not at the right price.

August 2015

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11

SKYS THE LIMIT


Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu tells
NOMPUMELELO MAGWAZA about next months World Routes Conference
PHOTOGRAPHY THULI DLAMINI

ts a first for Africa and will see hundreds


of aviation experts flock to Durban. Why
did you do this?
We are hosting this congress to maximise the
benefits of route development. In KwaZulu-Natal
our interest is to grow connectivity between King
Shaka International Airport and international
routes. It fits into our strategy of developing air
connectivity and linking ourselves globally.
Who should we expect for the conference?
It will bring in representatives from 150 airlines
and more than 600 airports globally, as well as
aviation experts and policy makers. We expect
about 4 000 delegates.
What are your top investment priorities in the
province?
Dube TradePort has been positioned as an
aerotropolis and has a project pipeline worth
R10-billion of potential private sector investment.
Richards Bay has a project pipeline of more
than R100-billion, including investors interested
in oil and gas, metal fabrication, energy and
wood, pulp and paper.
In the Ladysmith/Colenso/Ngakane area
there is the revitalisation of the coal power
stations. This is attracting the attention of
industrialists interested in smelter parks.
On the South Coast there is talk of a Music

employment. The provincial government is


establishing industrial economic hubs. The
Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone and
Dube TradePort continue to be growth engines.

Q&A with Zamo Gwala, the CEO of


Trade and Investment KZN
How would you describe the KwaZulu-Natal
economy and its opportunities?
KZN is the second largest provincial economy,
contributing 16% of gross domestic product in
2013. The services sector accounts for more
than 60% of the provincial economy but there
is a strong reindustrialisation move to create

What sectors are doing well and why?


Finance, property and business services, trade,
manufacturing and logistics. These sectors
are recording phenomenal growth rates of
up to 3.2%. Great potential lies in agriculture
and transport, including maritime transport.
Potential for economic growth lies everywhere,
with the provincial governments plans to attract
strategic investment into Dube TradePort,
establish industrial economic hubs and increase
international tourism. One of the worlds largest
independent liquid bulk suppliers of oil products,
chemicals and gasses, is prepared to put down
roots in Richards Bay, which will be a massive
energy game-changer on our doorstep, considering
South Africa imports about 70% of its oil.

City in Hibberdene, a private sector investment


driven by Americans. This will have elements of a
resort with music facilities and spas. This project
has tremendous support from local players and
we are in the final stages of land consolidation.
We will need a partnership with local people.
We have four prospective investors for the
Durban Automotive Supplier Park.
Tourism plays a big role in economic
development. What are your priorities here?
Deepening our domestic footprint by introducing
tourism information oces around the country.
Increasing international arrivals in KZN. At
one point we had 14 international airlines flying
to Durban. We are eyeing markets such as India,
China, Russia, Turkey and South America. Our
biggest market is Africa, so we need a strategy to
extend this.
The East 3 Route connects Durban, Swaziland
and Mozambique, promoting trade and tourism.
(This year Seychelles was added.) We are trying
to sell this route to other parts of the world by
pulling resources from all four countries so that
we market the region and all the countries can
share the spoils.
We need to invest in and promote iconic
tourism developments such as the Drakensberg
cable car, a King Shaka statue and new resorts.

What is your message to investors?


KZN has two of the largest seaports in Africa
handling 80% of cargo destined for South Africa
and neighbouring countries, as well as exports.
These ports are complemented by King Shaka
International Airport and Dube TradePort. KZN
has become a vibrant province with a strong ICT
sector which uses innovative approaches to ensure
we leapfrog stages of development. It has an
ecient banking system which matches the best
in the world. This province also boasts vast, prime
industrial land along the coast and inland.

POTENTIAL FOR ECONOMIC


GROWTH LIES EVERYWHERE

KZn bY numbErs

10.9 million
population

24%

6.5
million
hectares is for farming

80%

33%

of the countrys cargo

unemployment rate

kZn attracts
1.3 million foreign
visitors and
13.9 million local
visitors a year

2.1%

2.6 million

biGGest
port in
africa

THE PorT of Durban HanDlEs abouT


2.6-million 20fT ConTainErs a YEar

chemicals and plastics


the province provides nearly a
third of the countrys plastics

tourism

81%

KZn economys contribution


to the countrys Gross
domestic product

national aGri output

two ports,
richards bay
and durban,
can handle
about

82%

purposes, with
suitable
for livestock
farming and
arable land
annual provincial Growth

INTERVIEW

KZn is the
countrys
leading
producer of
timber

richards bay is the main


producer of aluminium, and
produces about
of the worlds
aluminium exports

4%

automotive and metal industries


vehicle manufacturing employs about 7 000 people
vehicle retail employs about 28 000 people
vehicle component manufacturers in the province have a total annual turnover of
r9.5-billion and employ around 13 500 people
August 2015

12

| SPICE |

August 2015

| spice |

13

INCREDIBLE AUDIO

INTERVIEW

HEAD FOR PETROL


Business is pumping for Sbonelo Mbatha, who has gone from
forecourt attendant to serial entrepreneur in less than a decade
TEXT NOMPUMELELO MAGWAZA PHOTOGRAPH THULI DLAMINI

ess than 10 years ago, Sbonelo Mbatha was a


petrol attendant. The 39-year-old now runs a
group of companies with turnover of
R360-million a year and 300 sta. He has four fuel
stations, a warehouse and distribution company, a
driving school and a new hair product venture.
It all began in 2006, when Mbatha borrowed
R45 000 using a fair amount of cunning. I went
to one bank and got a credit card, and before they
could update their system I was already filling in a
form at another bank. I raised R45 000 in an hour
and drew all the money. All this was to help him
buy a driving school in Durban. He was able to
repay the banks within a year.
Mbatha, who was born in eNqabeni on the
KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, calls himself a
circumstantial entrepreneur. I could not find
a job after completing a cost management and
accounting diploma. I was desperate and I became
a petrol attendant, earning R800 a month.
His first job was at a service station in Mount
Moriah, north of Durban, where he was soon
promoted to administrator. I was still earning
R800, but I really enjoyed my work and learnt so
much about how petrol stations operate. There
and then I decided that I would not do any other
job than this in my life.
Soon after his revelation, Mbatha was
oered a site manager job at a service
station in Pietermaritzburg, earning
R3 000. This was the greatest news
ever, a big promotion and a
raise. I could not refuse it.

I ran the service station as if I owned it. I was


even given a chance to train other site managers
around Pietermaritzburg.
His love for the petrol business landed Mbatha
on a BP entrepreneur course. When I was told
that I was not going to get my own service station,
I was so disappointed and felt like my dream had
been crushed.
But BP called Mbatha when an opportunity
came up to run a new service station in Dube
Village in Inanda, Durban.
I used this opportunity to negotiate with BP
to sell me the service station for R2-million. My
driving school was doing well and my experience
running a petrol service station had improved.
Since then Mbatha has bought three more
service stations and his company, Divine
Inspiration Holdings, has ventured into
distribution for Unilever, from the south of
Durban to Umtata in the Eastern Cape. We are
about to start a new venture of our very own,
Derma Scalp hair products.
While Mbatha continues to search for more
service station sites to grow his business,
he uses some of his time to mentor
young entrepreneurs. I do
not want to be forgotten
when I am dead,

so I am busy duplicating myself. I want to leave


behind a legacy.
His answer to unemployment is for the
government and business people to invest in
small businesses. I think Black Economic
Empowerment is suicidal for upcoming
entrepreneurs. It is the wrong formula and should
be changed.
If empowerment means throwing money
at people who have no previous experience in
handling it, then it is flawed, he says.
Ithala CEO Yvonne Zwane described
Mbatha as one of the development banks most
inspiring clients. His hunger for growth and
new opportunities continues to drive him. He
is an inspiration to many young South Africans,
having come from humble beginnings to become
a successful businessman. He has never forgotten
his roots and has helped many disadvantaged
youngsters to further their studies.
When he is not at church, Mbatha braais with
family and friends. I am a church person, I spend
most of my time with my family and church
members, he says.

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SBONELOS FIVE TIPS FOR


ENTREPRENEURS
Know your cash flow it is the
lifeblood of your business
Be hands-on it is your baby, after all
Deliver on your promises
Dont feel dejected by lack of support
Dont be overwhelmed by red tape

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August 2015
Inc DTP 5592 Deals valid until the 30th September 2015

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4151

SANRAL HELPS
WOMEN BUILD THE
ROAD TO ECONOMIC
EMPOWERMENT

Last year SANRAL commemorated


Womens Month by reinforcing
the empowerment of women in
infrastructure development at a
roundtable.
The event was addressed by Deputy
Minister of Transport Sindisiwe
Chikunga who emphasised that
women must play a more important
role in the economy of the country.

Derusha Govender, a project


manager in training at SANRAL

Fulufhelo Luruli, a project manager


in training at SANRAL

Derusha Govender, a project


manager in training at SANRAL,
foresees a bright future for herself
with the agency.

Also singing SANRALs praises for


awarding her a bursary is Fulufhelo
Luruli, a project manager in training.

An enquiring mind coupled with a


fascination for bridges and various
other structures as a child naturally
chartered Govenders career choice
towards the dynamic field of civil
engineering.
Despite adversities she has had
to overcome such as financial
constraints, she chose to see every
challenge as an opportunity for
growth.

Women contractors working on site


Thousands of women are literally
building the road to gender equality
and female economic empowerment,
thanks to progressive policies
espoused by the South African
National Roads Agency Soc Limited
(SANRAL).
SANRALs targeted procurement
philosophy is aimed at broadbased BEE, thus contributing to and
achieving economic growth by training
historically disadvantaged individuals
to become economically active; by
reducing unemployment; and by
stimulating growth in the small and
informal sectors of the economy.

The economic
empowerment of women
is a prerequisite for
sustainable development
and the successful
achievement of the goals
outlined in the National
Development Plan.
In all these endeavours to create
employment and alleviate poverty,
special emphasis is being placed
on ensuring women are given

Logashri Sewnarain, Regional Manager at SANRAL Eastern Region


significant opportunities for economic
empowerment.
The economic empowerment
of women is a prerequisite for
sustainable development and the
successful achievement of the goals
outlined in the National Development
Plan, said Logashri Sewnarain,
Regional Manager at SANRAL Eastern
Region which includes KwaZulu-Natal
and Free State.
As South Africa celebrates August
as Womens Month under the theme
Women United in Moving South
Africa Forward, the call by the NDP
for investments in gender equality
becomes even more relevant as this
enables women to have control over
their lives and exert influence in
society.
Numerous studies have shown
that when opportunities for women
and girls have been expanded in
terms of education and careers, the
countries they live in have largely
achieved greater prosperity and social
development.
In South Africa, women constitute a
large proportion of the economically
challenged, particularly in rural

areas. SANRAL acknowledges this by


harnessing a range of measures to
advance womens equality, she said.
SANRAL has committed to the
economic empowerment of women
by stipulating that contractors must
ensure that 12% of the contract value
is spent on work done by SMMEs,
of which 10% should be spent on
women-owned companies. Also 30%
of spend on labour should be for
women.

The call by the NDP for


investments in gender
equality becomes even
more relevant as this
enables women to have
control over their lives and
exert influence in society.
SANRAL established a bursary
scheme in 2007 to develop skilled
individuals from previously
disadvantaged backgrounds. During
2014/15, SANRAL awarded bursaries
to 105 students at a total investment
of R11.3 million.
The programme sponsors students

interested in civil engineering and


the built environment. The bursary
programme is a tangible contribution
to closing South Africas skills gap,
particularly in these disciplines.
The programme also aims to supply
SANRAL with future engineers and
support the built environment
through sponsoring and supporting
black students, particularly women.
During the last financial year,
SANRAL spent R2.9 billion on
contracts with SMMEs, of which
more than R1.7 billion went to 765
black-owned firms. In addition,
through SANRALs projects, 4 064
people were trained in elements of
road-building, of which 1 694 were
women.
During 2014/15, several community
development projects were
undertaken, providing employment
for 1 815 people. There were 175
women-owned contractors involved
in these and other projects.
In the same period, 4 064 people,
of which 1 694 were women, were
trained in road-building and other
skills through 8 456 courses at a cost
of R8.6 million.

Armed with a BSc Civil Engineering


degree from the University of
KwaZulu-Natal, she affirmed,
Education is important because
it assists in the path to personal
development and helps individuals
to bear the fruits of their labour,
discipline and perseverance.
Whilst in her matric year, the
Durban-born engineer said she came
across a SANRAL bursary offer which
she applied for.
She said obtaining a bursary from
the agency significantly changed the
outcome of her future.
SANRAL provided me with an
opportunity to improve my future
through education. Not only has
obtaining a degree in engineering
helped me towards achieving goals
in my career, it has also assisted in
empowering and developing me as
an individual.
Presently commissioned to work on
the N2 Mt Edgecombe Interchange
project in Durban, she believes her
strong academic background will
enable her to adequately fulfil the
practical tasks she has been assigned
as a project engineer in training.
With hard work and perseverance in
mind, she hopes to be acknowledged
by her seniors for her contribution
to the civil engineering industry and
looks forward to a flourishing career
with SANRAL.

She said while she yearned to join


the engineering profession, she was
confronted with a major financial
hurdle which SANRAL helped her
overcome.

Traditionally, women and


engineering were not two words
that went together, but that older
world ethos has changed. From
a base of about 20 students a
decade ago, there are about 1 000
women engineering undergraduates
currently studying at South African
universities and technikons.

However, despite the progress


made in closing the gender gap and
making more opportunities available
for women in business, South Africas
construction industry is one place
where being a woman is still a major
challenge, said Chikunga.
To help address the
underrepresentation of women,
government has invested R3.2
trillion towards infrastructure
investment projects with R845 billion
earmarked for the implementation of
infrastructure programmes.
She said she wanted to see 50% of
women in managerial positions and
more women engineers working with
SANRAL.

Thanks to a bursary from SANRAL, I


could focus completely on my studies
while my financial needs were taken
care of.
The rising engineer who hails from
Ha-Magau in the Limpopo Province
said people could benefit from better
working opportunities by pursuing a
career in engineering.
After she obtained her BSc Civil
Engineering degree in 2013, she took
up a job offer in the Eastern Region
with SANRAL.
I am hoping to improve my
capabilities as a project manager and
I thrive on being a good team player
as it will ensure work efficiency.

SANRAL is committed to creating a path of growth and development for


women in engineering and in business to ensure long-term sustainability
of critical skills in our economy and our country.

Her career aspirations are to obtain


professional engineering status and
ultimately develop into a seasoned
engineer, which would then increase
her involvement in large-scale
SANRAL projects.
SANRAL offers the best working
opportunities. I was seconded to
a consulting company were I am
getting valuable and high-quality
design experience.
I have also been exposed to
courses that are related to my
design experience, and the agency is
helping me work towards acquiring
my professional registration.
She believes she will be contributing
to infrastructure development in
the country through her skills and
knowledge.

Women working on the road

ENTREPRENEUR
2C using two bags of ice and a CO cylinder. It is
portable and fits in the boot of a small car. There
is space for advertising on the unit that houses the
mechanics and 50-litre keg.
De Beyer says problem-solving and passion
are at the heart of his entrepreneurship.
When I started my business the only work
available was that which other companies did
not want. Invariably it was impossible or just
difficult, and because I was desperate I would half
listen to the problem at hand, say yes I could do
it, then spend sleepless nights wondering why on
earth I took on the challenge.
My company slogan comes out of that: The
answer is yes, now what is the question.
De Beyer describes the creative and problemsolving side of his business as unbelievably
rewarding once the issues have been resolved.
The road to completion can be a bit
traumatic, but my fiance, Linda, is teaching me
to balance work and leisure time, which makes the
journey a lot more pleasant.
I have always believed that we are all born
with equal abilities, so if someone else can do
something, then so can I. Its from this train of
thought that our success is derived.

MR FIX-IT
Out of adversity, Gregory de Beyer created a business that
solves the ad industrys problems using a potent combination
of ingenuity, innovation and grit, writes Greg Ard

IF SOMEONE ELSE
CAN DO SOMETHING,
THEN SO CAN I

PHOTOGRAPHY VAL ADAMSON

f ever there was an inspiring tale for


entrepreneurs, it has to be Gregory de Beyers.
His life story, in parts, sounds like a bad
country and western song, but it is distinguished
by incredible triumph over adversity.
Earlier this year, the tenacious businessman
wowed judges at a Dragons Den-type event
hosted by SPICE magazine and FNB. Dubbed
The Shark Tank, the event brought 10 finalists
before a panel of top KwaZulu-Natal business
people.
Entrepreneur extraordinaire Stephen Saad
opened the event, stressing the importance of
resolve. You are not defined by your success or
your failures. You are going to have big knocks.
That is not important. It is how you get up that
counts. It is the sacrifices you make and the many
times you fall that count entrepreneurs never
give up.
All the ideas presented in The Shark Tank

18

| SPICE |

August 2015

were remarkable, but standing head and shoulders


above the rest was a mobile beer keg designed and
manufactured by De Beyer, 57, who owns Adstuff
in Chris Hani (formerly North Coast) Road.
De Beyers story is arresting. When he was
40, he had a calamitous year. He was retrenched
and divorced, and in a bid to pay the bills he was
repairing a yacht when his oxy-acetylene torch
failed, creating a fireball. He suffered third-degree
burns to his hands and second-degree burns to his
face and body.
For eight months, he was unable to use his hands
for anything but piloting a computer mouse, but
he had two sons in high school and bills to pay, so
he had no option but to earn. He taught himself
graphic design and Adstuff was born.
He started tinkering, then working out of the
garage of his Berea home. His main line of business
was designing and making business cards and
letterheads. His guardian angel was his mother,

De Beyers take on the shark tank


It was a very interesting competition in that it
showed me how to present my ideas.
To a large degree I think that one overcomplicates or over-explains an idea and loses
the connection with the client. In The Shark
Tank we had seven
minutes to present
whatever idea we had,
and if you think that
is a long time, you will
be surprised at how
quickly it goes.
From a business
perspective it cemented
my belief that if you
have not hooked the client in the first minute of
your pitch, its all up-hill from there.
Watching the other contestants present also
crystallised the need for self belief. There were
marked differences between contestants who
knew they had a good concept and those who
thought they might have one.

Pearl, now 84, who did everything she could for


her son, down to running the printing machine,
fetching supplies and making all the deliveries.
She ran his household and made sure her
grandsons, Matthew and Mavric, were looked after.
Mrs de Beyer is still involved in the business.
She is the cheery face greeting clients at reception.
When shes not doing that, she looks after other
administrative tasks.
My mom is a legend. If it werent for her I
would have been broken. I couldnt do anything
after the accident, but she was there 24/7, making
sure my life worked, says De Beyer.
Adstuff grew from strength to strength on the
back of De Beyers willingness to find solutions.
An avid yachtsman, he prides himself on being
able to fix just about anything, anywhere, using
scant resources.
He developed a reputation for being a
MacGyver in the advertising industry and designs

and manufactures the most challenging point-ofsale displays.


Always scheming, the team at Adstuff work
constantly on a variety of projects. Last year they
produced a herd of life-size fibreglass rhino for a
campaign. This year they are working on handsanitising machines De Beyer is producing for
hospitals, catering companies and schools. Put
your hands in the machine and it washes and
sanitises them in 10 seconds, using 10% of the
water and 30% of the soap used in a conventional
wash basin.
De Beyers winning Shark Tank presentation
was for a portable draught machine. The drive
is on to pour cold beer in Africa, but the main
challenge is reliable power. Traditional draught
machines require electricity to power their flash
coolers and precool kegs of beer.
Months of tinkering in his factory saw De Beyer
come up with a mobile unit that dispenses beer at

Simple is also paramount I believe Albert


Einstein said: If you cant explain it simply, you
dont understand it well enough.
For anybody entering this competition in the
future, keep it super-simple and keep it real. The
people on the panel are smart and successful, and
if you take a chance, they will know immediately.
Do not over-project your expectations and do
not over-explain your idea. Keep it concise.
To enter the next Shark Tank competition visit
www.sundaytimes.co.za/sharktank

Diverse KZN economy offers vast


opportunities for entrepreneurship
TEXT preggie pillay, fnb business kwazulunatal provincial head

waZulu-Natal is a key province for


entrepreneurs who have the skills to
maximise the benefits of a diverse economy.
Growing above the national economic average,
KZN has diversified by creating a number of
viable industries.
An initiative to boost manufacturing is the
creation of special economic zones such as the
Dube TradePort and, in Richards Bay, industrial
clusters driven by investment incentives. The
focus is value-added and export-orientated
manufacturing.
It is important for the public and private sectors
to collaborate to enable entrepreneurs to benefit
from this diverse regional economy.
The provincial government has demonstrated
its commitment to investing in programmes that
have the potential to sustain the growth and to
create new entrepreneurial opportunities. The
province has budgeted R12.060-billion in 2015/16,
R11.804-billion in 2016/17 and R12.196-billion in
2017/18 to invest in infrastructure projects.*
The sustained investment inflow is likely
to create more opportunities for big and small
businesses. More importantly, it will create an
environment where small and medium enterprises
can participate in the broader supply chain and
create jobs.
Equally, the private sector continues to play
an essential role. From an FNB perspective, we
recently demonstrated our commitment to the
province by opening our Acacia House provincial
head office, built with an investment of nearly
R500-million.
The office consolidates a number of companies
within the FirstRand Group, enabling us to offer
a suite of services to emerging entrepreneurs, big
business and individual consumers. We continue
to enhance our offering for entrepreneurs, but,
more importantly, we want to be accessible to
better understand their needs.
* MEC Belinda Scott: KwaZulu-Natal 2015/16
Budget Vote point 48.
Chartered accountant Preggie Pillay is the provincial
chairman, head of FNB Business in KZN. He is
responsible for all business-to-business interaction in the
region.

August 2015

| SPICE |

19

THEATRE + RETREAT + MOTORING + VISION

Greg King and Steven Stead


have incubated local theatre
talent through a host of
amazing productions

culture
dOublE AcT
The future of theatre in Durban is in the energetic, creative and
prolific hands of Steven Stead and Greg King
TEXT GREG ARD
PHOTOGRAPHY VAL ADAMSON

20

| SPICE |

August 2015

reg King and Steven Stead are clever,


refined
and
charming.
Intelligent
gentlemen of the arts, theyre witty and well
read. And as the directors of the most successful
production company in Durban, theyre at the
epicentre of theatre in the province.
They are the darlings of critics and local
audiences, and their shows be they dramas,
comedies, pantomimes or musicals are invariably
sold out. Audiences revel in KickstArt Theatre
Companys offerings, from Beauty and the Beast
to Margaret Edsons brilliant Wit and Stephen
Sondheims brooding Sweeney Todd.
For an extraordinarily talented pair, King and
Stead are unpretentious and self-effacing. Stead,
who spent eight years as senior staff director at the
English National Opera in London, says while the
world of showbusiness is generally associated with
egos, temperamental artists and tantrums, theres
little space for being precious.
We create a safe space for artists to be creative,
but theres no room for prima donnas. As a director,
I am workmanlike and practical, not histrionic or
fey. More like a plumber or an electrician, I know
how to do the job and get water to come out of the
tap or make the lights switch on.
King, the quieter of the two, describes the duo
as one guy with a computer and another guy with
a bakkie.
Stead and King have been together almost
since KickstArt was born 15 years ago, and were
married this year. In that time they have produced

more than 50 shows and have been a veritable


incubator of theatrical talent in Durban, providing
income and a platform for hundreds of performers,
crew, technical and backstage staff.
Most often King, 44, is the designer and Stead,
45, the director. Both have honours degrees in
drama from Natal University (now the University
of KwaZulu-Natal).
Kings ambition at varsity was to work for the
erstwhile Napac (Natal Performing Arts Council).
After graduating he joined Napacs puppet
company, but the council folded, and in 2000 he
launched KickstArt.
In an era of one-man bands, when lonely
actors traversed the country doing rough theatre
with collapsible sets in their car boots, his first
production was Ben Eltons Popcorn, with a cast of
nine and a complex set.
Stead returned from London to join him. I
realised we could do it again. It was born out of
nostalgia for what made us fall in love with the
theatre: fully-fledged productions of internationally
recognised scripts, with proper sets and costumes,
says King.
Stead adds: There were enough good, hungry
actors in Durban. Audiences gradually became
engaged and it flourished.
A decade-and-a-half later they have a
mantelpiece full of trophies and a sackful of
fabulous memories. KickstArt has also allowed
them to make a living in Durban, and to present their
work nationally in co-productions with renowned

figures such as Pieter


Toerien and Daphne
Kuhn.
KickstArt is among a
handful of independent
theatre
companies
that
flourish
in
South Africa. Its
productions
are
celebrated for attention
to detail and it offers a canny mix of commercial
hits and thought-provoking arthouse.
King and Stead are most fondly known for their
stirring musicals and annual pantomimes. They
buy the rights abroad and are left to interpret the
look and feel locally.
We largely follow a western aesthetic and we
have been criticised for it, says King.
But thats what we are and what makes us
tick. Were not going to be inauthentic to please
detractors, says Stead.
Asking us to do workshop or socio-political
work in an African style is like asking Picasso
to paint realism. Thats not what he did. We
create work based on what excites us and what
our audiences want. Its a gamble: we can do our
market research on a show and still have empty
seats. You dont always hit the button.
King says they have stayed afloat financially by
running a lean outfit. We cant take big financial
risks. But we arent answerable to anyone and Im
proud our shows look glossy because theyre really

August 2015

| SPICE |

21

DUR

THEATRE

tied together with string. There are affordable ways


to make it special. Thats the magic.
Their musicals cost about R1-million to produce,
about 10% of the cost of imported shows such as
Phantom of the Opera.
King and Stead are fulfilled working in Durban,
but didnt imagine it would pan out this way. King
recalls an epiphany on set one day. Id always been
thinking, When am I going to get my big break,
whens my career going to start? Then it dawned
on me that this was my break, I was on the journey
and enjoying it. Were our most successful when we
are our most passionate. If it is turning you on and
satisfying you, do it: put on a show, love the journey.
Stead says: I have a fantastic life and Im
privileged to share it with someone who has the
same passion.
His parents took him to all the shows in Durban
as a child, instilling in him the love for what he and
King do today. I thought they were magical. It
clicked that switch in me.
If I had any advice for someone who was in my
shoes 25 years ago, Id say you dont have to aim
for Broadway, therein lies heartache. I know, Ive
been there. At the end of the day Id rather be a
producer in Durban than a waiter in Los Angeles.
Having said that, they acknowledge that the arts
scene in South Africa is on shaky ground, and urge
the government and business to be smarter about
funding.
King is considered. Theatre played an
important role in the change to democracy, but
that has stigmatised theatre in the public eye as
hard work and didactic, and often an effort to
attend. And when the establishment doesnt seem
to support theatre, other than politically motivated
work, it makes for a lack of variety and colour in the
creative landscape.
Stead is scathing. There is no one in
government who knows anything about arts or
cares. The arts minister position is generally given
as a punishment of some sort to the most inept.
Pouring vast sums of money into institutions
like The Playhouse doesnt foster creativity:
state funding on this scale makes artists lazy and

22

| SPICE |

August 2015

9 Facts about steven & GreG


1.

2.
3.
4.

5.
KickstArt has done its
share of comedy and
serious theatre

6.
complacent, and there is no real incentive to strive
for genuine excellence. It doesnt matter whether
the public comes or not. The money will still roll in
provided the forms are all filled in correctly. Statefunded theatres generally put on enormous, poorly
produced shows that nobody goes to. The arts
needs funding, desperately, but at grassroots level.
Currently, most of the money is flowing into places
that are empty clanging bells, mausoleums to art.
KickstArt partially survived through an annual
R250 000 grant from the National Arts Council.
We got it for six years and it helped pay our tax bill,
and encouraged us to take the odd risk. We were
grateful for it, Stead says.
Now, says King, were liberated by being
independent. We walk a tightrope by doing crowdpleasing, commercial shows and satisfying ourselves
artistically, but being lean has helped us. We can do
this because we spend modestly.
Stead chips in: Were mavericks. We have to
make a plan. If someone gave us R50-million, I
dont know that it would be good for us.

7.

8.

9.

Gregs mother was a consumer adviser for


a supermarket chain, his dad a furniture
salesman. He has four siblings and went to
Maritzburg College.
Stevens dad was a lieutenant-colonel in the
air force and his mom a biology teacher.
They had three children.
The family lived on the Bluff, where
Steven and Greg live now.
Steven went to Glenwood High School,
where he says he often felt crushed by
jocks who lampooned his interest in the
arts. Their ridicule drove him to succeed.
Both men had an early fascination with
puppetry. In Standard 5, the creators of
War Horse, Handspring Puppet Company,
visited Gregs school. They took my breath
away. I went home and started making
puppets.
When Steven was a child he roped his
brothers into his shows, paying them 5c to
operate the lights or arrange the props.
Greg says creating huge, intricate puppets
like the dragon in Shrek is part fascination
with the wizardry of mechanics and part
love of art and animation.
Steven says it can all go wrong, but the
show must go on. One year we did a Snow
White pantomime. Greg was doing another
gig so I was spinning. The theatre was
burgled the night before opening. We had
no help and I had just cleaned the toilets. I
tidied up to run front-of-house. The show
was about to start and I discovered we only
had five dwarves, not seven. I was a wreck,
sobbing alone in the ticket office: a dark
night of the soul.
Greg says the theatre world can be
precious. The richness is in adaptation,
theres seldom anything new. Our creative
outpouring is a culmination of all the
things we love.

KZN:

LARGEST ECONOMY

2NDIN SOUTH AFRICA

500 000
INDIRECT INT. TRAFFIC FLOWS

LEADING
DOMESTIC TOURISM DESTINATION
SOUTH
AFRICAS

100 000 TONNES

ANNUAL CARGO CAPACITY

MORE THAN

South Africas largest unserved international market

800 SOUTHERN AFRICA

WEEKLY CONNECTIONS TO

STRATEGICALLY LOCATED BETWEEN

OF THE BUSIEST

PORTS IN AFRICA

3.8

MILLION

TOURIST VISITORS

PER ANNUM

%
0 CARGO TERMINAL
CARGO LOSS IN DUBE

RECORD

* Source Sabre ADI, July 2015

JOIN US IN DURBAN FOR

Durban is a tourists haven with diverse cultural


heritage. It is also a trade gateway to Sub-Saharan
Africa, and boasts South Africas second-largest
economy. Offering an attractive airline-incentive
programme, and the state-of-the-art King Shaka
International Airport (awarded the 2013 Skytrax
Best Airport in World Handling under 5 Million
Passengers), Durban has taken off.
www.dubetradeport.co.za

WORLD ROUTES 2015

INTERVIEW

PEDAL F
POWER
Mountain biker Candice
Neethling already has one
Olympics under her belt, and
shes determined to fly the South
African flag in Rio next year
TEXT SHELLEY SEID
PHOTOGRAPHY EMMA HILL

24

| SPICE |

August 2015

or Olympian Candice Neethling, 23, mountain


biking is part of her DNA. Born and raised on
the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, she was the only
woman to represent South Africa in the cross-country
event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
As a three-year-old she announced that she would be
riding 22km from the family sugarcane farm to the local
hotel and back. No one tried to stop her. My dad made
a plan by putting an upright broomstick at the back of
my little yellow bicycle in case he needed to push me
along, she says. After that very first ride I knew I felt a
connection with a bicycle and turning the pedals fast.
She grew up on a farm in Oribi Gorge with parents
who enjoyed outdoor activities, and cycling in particular.
It was an area that gave her space to roam freely and
explore the mountains, often with her father, who
taught her the fundamentals. But she says there was no
pressure to ride professionally. The choice was always
mine. He just wanted me to experience the joy of riding
with him. I have a younger sister who will not go near a
bicycle, but she is my biggest supporter.
She began racing competitively at the age of
11, when she took part in a 30km event with her
father. Things grew from there. The feeling of pure
abandonment and freedom I get from riding a bicycle
has remained the same throughout, she says.
In 2009 Candice won bronze at the Junior World
Championships in Canberra, Australia, and has
competed in every world championship since. Her
win at the 2012 African Continental Championship in
Mauritius qualified her for the sole womans spot on
the Olympic mountain biking team later that year.
She surprised herself and the entire mountain
biking community when she took bronze in Canberra.
I became the first African woman to receive a medal
at a mountain biking world championship and I proved
to myself that I had what it takes to achieve my lifelong
dreams. It was a very special moment for me.
Is she ever frightened? The very nature of crosscountry mountain biking is scary, she says. Its a sport
where every second counts and there is no room for
error. It is intense and pressured, and requires immense
mental capacity when you enter an obstacle at 180 beats
per minute.
Her most challenging course is the rock garden on
the Pietermaritzburg world cup course. Riders have
to negotiate what I can best describe as a waterfall of
rocks down a steep and seemingly never-ending slope.
One wrong placement of the front wheel and the result
could be catastrophic. Many years and crashes later, I
am still scared when entering this obstacle.
Future goals include participating in the World
Championships in Andorra, between France and
Spain, later this year and, of course, to be selected
for the Rio Olympics in 2016. My lifelong dream is
to stand on the podium at the Olympic Games. I was
born with this dream, and being selected for Rio is just
one of the stepping stones on the way.

MOTORING

RETREAT

BREED
APART

Hartford House has horses, heritage,


horticulture, hedonism and some of
the finest food in the Midlands
TEXT SHELLEY SEID

ituated on one of South Africas best-known


stud farms, in a spectacular garden, Hartford
House is a country hotel with a history. Louis
Botha took over command of the Boer forces at the
foot of the farm in 1899; General Dawid Joubert
signed for his copy of the Treaty of Vereeniging
at Summerhill at the end of hostilities in 1902,
and had his troops plant the entrance avenue as
a commemoration; and Hartford has hosted Jan
Smuts and Sir Winston Churchill. SPICE spoke to
owner Mick Goss and GM Duncan Bruce.
Whose idea was Hartford House?
The conviction which led to the conversion of our
home into a hotel came from Micks wife, Cheryl.
She felt that once the children had completed their
schooling, this heritage gem could serve no better
purpose than to be committed to the use of the
public of this country and its international visitors.
Why does it work?
Hartford is part of the Summerhill Estate and
together they attract 70 to 80 people a day, which
converts to more than 30 000 visitors annually
arguably the most visited hospitality destination
in the Midlands. Hartford has an exceptional
reputation for its food. Former head chefs
include Richard Carstens and Jackie Cameron,
who piloted the restaurant into the national top
10. The current chef, Constantijn Hanhndiek, is
a finalist in the San Pellegrino Young Chef of the
Year.
What makes it dierent?
It is the only world-class hotel, on a world-class

26

| SPICE |

August 2015

stud farm, in the world. Summerhill Stud has been


the champion racehorse-breeding establishment
in South Africa nine consecutive times in an
era when the landscape is heavily populated by
billionaires. The estate is 3 000 acres, populated
not only by horses but by a large variety of game
species.
Where are your guests from?
Our mix includes strong followings from Gauteng,
KwaZulu-Natal and, more recently, the Western
Cape during winter. Our trac is about 80% local
and 20% foreign. That changes to roughly 60%
local and 40% foreign in the warmer months.
Do guests come back?
Our biggest marketing tool is word of mouth. We
have many return guests, some of whom have been
coming back consecutively for the past 10 years,
staying in the same suites and, remarkably, wanting
the same menu.
Average duration of stays?
Our weekends are generally based on a two-night
stay. During the o season our midweek stays are
one night, and three to four nights in season.

What recurring feedback do you get?


Thank you for your warm hospitality, worldclass food, interesting wine selection and beautiful
surroundings.
How do you hit the service balance between
privacy and attention?
We need to respect our guests privacy, but its also
extremely important that we get to know you. In
that way we are able to anticipate your needs and
oer you warm and engaging service.
Oddest request or behaviour?
We have often transformed our racetrack to host
mini race days for birthday celebrations. We even
have a commentator and a betting tote.
Particular point of pride?
Hartfords traditional dance troupe, the
iNgobamakhosi, is the national champion and
has ranked second and third in the world. Last
August, the group wowed audiences at the Royal
Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Dont miss?
The dinner and wine pairing, its a culinary delight.
The senior food critic for Europe at the Wall Street
Journal, Bruce Palling, proclaimed Hartford one of
the top three country restaurants in the world.
Any new developments?
Hartford is engaged in a major makeover of its
famous gardens. As part of the project we are
developing an enchanting tea house.
Had any celebs popping in lately?
Heads of state, government ministers, captains
of business and sports celebrities are among the
regular clientele.
Costs?
From R770 to R1 980 per person per night, bed
and breakfast.
Contact 033-263-2713

DISCO FEVER
Best 4x4xFar? Maybe, but Land
Rovers of the 21st century also
have more than a veneer of
top-level luxury
TEXT MASOOD BOOMGAARD
PHOTOGRAPHY ROGAN WARD

ot that long ago, when someone


mentioned Land Rover, many people
would have thought bare-boned, rugged,
bundu-bashing 4x4. And while off-road tenacity
is still very much part of the Landy DNA, the
brand has gradually embraced a more premium
image.
Not too long ago, Land Rovers were seldom
equipped with basics such as airconditioning
and power steering. These days, however, there
isnt a feature you wont find in even entry-level
models.
And Land Rovers product range is
continuously, intelligently expanding to meet
the demands of a discerning clientele.
The Discovery Sport is the latest addition. Its
significant for many reasons, the most important
being that its the first time Land Rover has
slapped the sport badge on the Discovery.
The vehicle is handsomely styled, taking its
design cues from the popular Evoque, but while
it may look sophisticated it has serious off-road
credentials, thanks mainly to its terrain-response
system. Its the sort of vehicle that satisfies both
hardcore off-roaders and soccer moms.
Its been out two months. Were into our
third month of sales, says Trevor Clack of
CMH Land Rover Umhlanga. Its a welcome
addition to the Land Rover range. The response

weve gone from bundu


bashers to executives

has been very good. We had orders placed many


months ago.
Clack says the Discovery Sport is just one
of many exciting new products the car maker
will introduce in the next few years, including a
replacement for the legendary Defender.
Our client base has grown from bundu bashers
to high-level executives who want something thats
large and dual purpose. Were operating in the
luxury car market, so everything has to be well
appointed.
Clack says its the Discovery Sports features
that excite him most.
There has been a lot of emphasis on progressive
technology, features we dont really see in this
country, like 360-degree cameras and terrainresponse driving programmes, for example, that
are unique to Land Rover.
With each production year, new features are
introduced. Theres a lot of luxury.
Clack says the Discovery Sport stays true to
Land Rovers heritage. Part of Land Rover history
is off-roading, and every Land Rover has a certain
off-roading capability. There is an expectation that
my Land Rover can go where no other car can go.
Reasons to buy the Discovery Sport? Fuel
efficiency, power and performance, and the
sensational nine-speed automatic gearbox. But
most of all, says Clack, its fun to drive.

August 2015

| SPICE |

27

RADIO
GAGA
Broadcaster Alan Khan has come a long way
from his days as a horseracing commentator
in his pre-teens. Yasantha Naidoo listened as
Khan turned on his broadcasting voice
PHOTOGRAPHY TEBOGO LETSIE

28

| SPICE |

August 2015

lan Khan, who earlier this year was inducted


into the South African Radio Hall of Fame,
has a story for everything. From anecdotes
about people he has interviewed to tales of his trips
abroad, Khan is a treasure trove of information.
The sports-mad broadcaster has also had a stint
on television, co-hosting a national breakfast show,
and has emceed thousands of functions over the past
25 years.
The Morningside home he shares with his
educational psychologist wife Mariam Seedat and
sons Nassir, 16, and Ameer, 13, oers snapshots of
his life.
The travel books, for example, cover the
destinations he and his family have visited, from
Istanbul to China, Bali to Phuket. When the Mayans
predicted the world would end in 2012, Khan took
his family to the happiest place on Earth Disney
World in Florida.
He says a trip with his wife to Bali was their most
romantic, a visit to Thailand the most fascinating
cultural experience, a getaway to Victoria Falls his
most disappointing, while a holiday in Beijing was
the most disturbing.
You cant be a pet lover if you visit there because
of the animals you see. Its their way of life, but it
just isnt for me. We try to avoid the tourist traps and
find out what the locals are doing or where they are
going. Thats the place to be.
While a row of Planet Hollywood and Hard
Rock Caf glasses, as well as Chinese vases, are
touristy mementoes of their travels, several frames
on their walls speak volumes of Khans true passion:
broadcasting.
As a youngster he picked up the skill of
horseracing commentary by listening to the radio,
and while he was studying at the then Technikon
Natal, his oer to help a campus radio DJ carry a
speaker led to him going on air. From campus radio,
he joined Capital 604 in 1990, staying with the
station for six years until it closed.
A few days later he joined East Coast Radio,
before moving to Jacaranda in Johannesburg. His
return to KwaZulu-Natal two years ago to become
senior director of corporate aairs at the Durban
University of Technology coincided with his return
to the airwaves.
His signature sign-o, peace, love and radio,
is displayed in another frame hanging on a wall as
a reminder of his broadcasting history. It was a
farewell gift from some of my former colleagues,
says Khan.
From Steve Jobs and Bob Marley in the old days
to the doctors, lawyers and financial experts who
feature on his current show on Lotus FM, Khan says
his radio career has been an amazing experience.
His ratings are up, and he says his mission to help
and educate people through his talk shows has been
accomplished.
For the Everton and Beatles fan, being inducted
into the Radio Hall of Fame was an emotional
highlight of his career, matched by one of his most
treasured possessions a book of comments from
people with whom he has interacted over the years,
compiled by his wife to mark the honour.
For once in my life I was speechless, said Khan.

The KZN North Coast is booming.


Come and feel the noise.
This dynamic region is a future platform for light industrial warehousing
for industries focused on imported goods for redistribution and the
export of finished goods to all parts of the globe.
With both Richards Bay and the Dube TradePort already established
as industrial development zones, the entire province is poised for
explosive growth.
In the heart of this north coast development is uShukela Industrial
Park, a 27,350m2 mixed use greenfield site lying between Verulum,
Mount Edgecombe and uMhlanga.
This development is in a prime position within the Cornubia site
and comprises sixteen mid-size industrial units between 900m2 and
3 000m2. Theyre ideal for light manufacturing, warehousing, logistics
and similar applications. Final designs and fittings are flexible and
will be in accordance with tenants needs.

Access to uShukela is excellent via the N2, M41and R102 and will
soon be even better when the new four lane arterial into Cornubia
is completed in 2015. Richards Bay is just 90 minutes away,
Pinetown, Durban CBD and the harbour are no more than twenty
minutes drive and King Shaka International is seven minutes down
the road.
Occupation is scheduled for February 2016 so if you want to join
the boom, now is a very good time to do it. Please contact Ross
Eigenmann on 083 321 6011, Kale Bagwandin on 073 469 4894
or view the electronic brochure at www.redefine.co.za.

Were not landlords. Were people.

CHARLIE BRAVO #423-14

INTERVIEW

#GottaLuvKZN

VISION
With which historical figure do you most identify?
Gandhi. I keep reading his works. I also admire Martin
Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Chief Albert
Luthuli. My dad knew him well.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Something
you can find within yourself, but only when you see the
happiness around you.
What is your greatest fear? Its for the world. Theres
so much inequality, which can lead to destruction.
Unlimited auence and consumption of resources is
not sustainable. Materialism has to be curbed.
What is the trait you most dislike in yourself?
Sometimes I wish I had more courage.
What is the trait you most dislike in others?
Materialism.
When do you lie? Sometimes to protect people in
simple things, to avoid hurting them.
Which phrase do you overuse? You know.
What is your greatest regret? That I moved out of
the Phoenix Settlement (established by Gandhi in 1904
and burnt down in 1985). Maybe I could have saved it.
The love of your life? My children and grandchildren. I
also have a deep attachment to the Phoenix Settlement.
Which talent would you most like to have? I would
like to be able to sing and paint and draw.
When and where are you happiest? Right now.
What is your state of mind? Peaceful.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what
would it be? I would be more involved in providing
real services to people who are struggling. Id like to do
more with my hands. I often wish Id become a doctor.
What is your most treasured possession? At 74 I
am reaching the other end of the stick, as they say. As
you become greyer you shed attachment to material
things. I have given away the things I have treasured,
collections from my mother and grandfather. I spend
three-quarters of the day on my computer. It has
everything on its memory so I suppose it is prized,
but Im not attached to it. I have schooled myself that
wherever I go, I go with open hands.
Where would you like to live? The Phoenix
Settlement.
What is your favourite occupation? I like reading,
writing and playing word and card games on the
computer.
What is the quality you most like in a person?
Compassion and the ability to see another point of
view. It is important not to feel that you have all the
answers or that your belief is the only way. Everybody
looking out the window sees dierent things. They are
all dierent parts of a jigsaw puzzle. Put together it is
beautiful, but to focus on one piece is dull and narrow.
Who are your favourite writers? I havent read a lot of
novels, but I liked The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
Who is your fictional hero? Hassan, in that novel.
Who are your real-life heroes? Mandela and Luthuli.
What do you most dislike? Waste. I often see people
take a big helping of food and leave half of it to be
thrown away. It extends to all sorts of things.
How would you like to die? In my sleep.
What is your motto? Do as much as you can with as
little as you can.

K WA ZU L U -N ATA L
Come on over to KwaZulu-Natal this September, as we celebrate all this exceptional
destination has to offer visitors and locals alike.
Join in the fun with concerts in the park, strawberry-picking in Ballito or celebrate
your heritage among the people of KwaDukuza.
What better time to kick-off your journey of Re-discovery than Tourism Month...
Heres a list of events that will remind you why you #GottaLuvKZN.

082 821 8004

TEXT GREG ARD PHOTOGRAPHY VAL ADAMSON

30

| SPICE |

August 2015

Computicket

17-20 SEPT

25-26 SEPT

THE WITNESS HILTON


ARTS FESTIVAL

SANI DRAGON
CHALLENGE

033 383 0126/7


festival@hiltoncollege.com

082 329 7737

26 SEPT

27 SEPT

Cheryl Peters
032 946 1256

073 470 9842


sihle.shange@ymail.com

STRAWBERRY-PICKING
FESTIVAL

www.zulu.org.za

Mpume Sithole
mpume@azomonde.co.za
031 765 1381

BRIAN McKNIGHT
LIVE IN CONCERT

REED DANCE:
KWA NONGOMA

ELA GANDHI is the granddaughter of Mahatma


Gandhi. Her father, Manilall, ran the settlement
Gandhi founded near Phoenix at the turn of the last
century. Ela runs the Gandhi Development Trust

SA BMW
POLO SERIES

16 SEPT

SEPT

HERITAGE DAY:
KWADUKUZA

Des Tannous
083 454 9451

13 SEPT

Andrew Taylor
083 447 0697

24 SEPT

DEZZI INVITATIONAL

#DurbanDay2015
Computicket

SUNDAY TRIBUNE JEEP


HILL TO HILL: DURBAN

MPATI MOUNTAIN RACE

06-11 SEPT

BP DURBAN DAY
WITH ECR

12 -13 SEPT

12 SEPT

PHOENIX
RISING

06 SEPT

TOWNSHIP TO
TOWNSHIP MARATHON